Thursday, July 31, 2008

Very Random thoughts

Not too much to report today. All is well. The heavens are quiet. hehe Here's a few things:

1. The boys are going on a field trip to ITZ today. They were very excited this morning.

2. Payday = breathing. Very good.

3. I can't stop thinking about lunch even though I am still full from breakfast. I REALLY want a turkey artichoke panini from Panera!

4. I am feeling much love for my family today. Love you family! (children, spouse, parents, brothers, sisters, cousins, aunts and uncles and all alike - hehe)

5. Did I mention I'm marrying a great man? It'll happen soon and I'm very optimistic about that today!

I think that is it for now!

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Yummy pasta sauce

Oh ya! I made a delicious semi-homemade tomato sauce to go with our pasta and chicken that spurred this conversation between me and my 10-yr-old son:

Me: "Not bad for homemade sauce huh?"
Son: "No, I guess it wasn't bad"
Me: "Did you taste the onion?"
Son shaking his head: "No"
Me: "Did you taste the green peppers?"
Son with a very surprised look: "What green peppers?"
Me: "The ones I pureed in the sauce so you couldn't see them"
Son gives me sly look.
Me: "So, not bad for homemade tomato sauce huh?
Son giving me a sly smile now, "No mom, not bad"

Becky's semi-homemade tomato sauce

1/2 tbsp olive oil
1/2 cup onion
2 garlic gloves (more depending on taste)
1/4 c green bell pepper
1 can stewed tomatoes (14.75 oz I think) (*Note: You can also use diced tomatoes)
2 oz. of tomato sauce

1. Heat 1/2 tbsp olive oil in pot. Saute onions, garlic cloves and geen bell pepper.

2. Add a can of stewed tomatoes or petit cut diced tomatoes. Let everything simmer for about 10-15 minutes. (My burners are VERY hot so it only takes about 10 on my stove)

3. Puree the pot in a food processor, pulsing until you reach the consistency you want. For the kids sake, I wanted it very smooth and not chunky at all bc then they can pick the veggies out. Then, return it to pot, add some italian seasonings like basil, rosemary, tarragon, oregano and/or parsley. I added a little black pepper and red pepper flakes for a little bite (didn't add too much though). I also added a few drops of cooking red wine for flavor. About 1/2 tbsp worth. Let it simmer for about another 15 minutes to let flavors meld. Delicious!

Variations I want to try: I would like to try adding mushrooms next time. Another thought is adding veggies like carrots, celery or squash before puree. I think this sauce is going to help my boys get their veggies!

Little Tidbits for Hump Day

I am feeling somewhat refreshed by yet sluggish. Is that possible? I got a good 8 hours of sleep last night but awoke abruptly about 4 am to a bad dream. I didn't get up to workout this morning - AGAIN - so that is where the sluggish part comes in. I just feel much better when I work out in the am, but at the same time if I dont' get enough sleep it doesn't do me much good bc I am dead tired by the afternoon. So, the goal for next week will be to start getting up early with the fiance again and get my butt to the gym! I know its not happening this week. Tonight is shuffleboard (big waste of time) so I will be going to sleep late and will not get up tomorrow early, although the fiance still manages to. hehe If I make it to the gym Friday morning, well one day isn't sufficient enough to say I'm back on track. =P

Family time
This had been going fairly well. This week my boss is out of town. He left Monday and won't be back until Friday afternoon. Last week, he left early almost everyday so I left early too. What does this mean for me? it means that I get to go home at a decent hour and get dinner started and we eat like normal people around 6:30 pm versus 8 or 9 pm. Then, last night and twice last week we went for a walk after dinner. That is nice bc even if I don't make it to the gym, at least I get in a little exercise. Of course, I don't really know how many calories I burn so I have to guess-timate. Sure would be nice to have my heart rate monitor....Last night a neighbor down the street cut our walk short. He came down to show us his adorable new puppies! He has pits just like us so its kind of funny, instant friendship. I think its bc it is hard to really appreciate the companionship of a pit bull unless you own one. They have such a bad wrap and everyone is so afraid of them - except other people that own them. He did make a comment yesterday that half the people who own pits you would never really think they would own a pit. I think thats true. I see the surprise in people's faces when I say I have two of them. I can also see that they are secretly sizing me down thinking, "It's always the quiet ones you have to worry about" - Hahaha! Anyways, his pup was very cute and adorable, but it turned into at minimum a 30 min. convo and at most about 45 mins. maybe. So we didn't walk all the way to the lake that day and only got in about 45 mins walking. I tried to up the pace to get a little more burn. Point is, that is something that I like; it tires the dogs out and I feel better about my family getting exercise as well. Very happy camper about that. =)

I had a lot I wanted to blog about, but its kind of escaped me now. Haha So, I guess I will sign off and if I remember what I wanted to rant about, I'll be sure to come back. Happy Hump Day!

Monday, July 28, 2008

Random thoughts for a sunny but overcast Monday

So I was thinking of my last post. One of the things I want to concentrate on is having real sit down family dinners. Not only with my immediate family in my home but also with parents and such. We did manage to do this this past weekend. I cooked all weekend, every meal. Amazing right? Well, except for Friday. It was nice to sit down at the table as a family. I am going to encourage this more. I am also going to start cooking more. It is so much easier to eat good wholesome foods when they are cooked at home rather than at a restaurant. I can monitor how much butter and oil is used for one. by doing this we can still enjoy some of the foods we love that are a little higher in fat. For example, my pack of men, boy do they love their breakfasts! Saturday I managed to make chorizo, egg and potato for breakfast and still come in under my maintenance calories. Yesterday, I made a good breakfast with pancakes, homemade hashbrowns (yes I said HOMEMADE) eggs, smokies...the works. It wasnt' half as bad as one would think, but that breakfast at Denny's would have been 1,000 calories easily. Again, restuarants add A LOT of added fat. Ok, enough preaching! Anyway, back to the subject, so ya, I want to incorporate like a monthly sunday dinner with our families somehow. Details are a little wishy washy as my dad is so hard to get a hold of and the fiance's parents don't quite get along but I think it would be nice. I'm going to work on that.

Well, as it turns out, that was only one random thought. haha

Friday, July 25, 2008

Quote for the Day

"The greatest day in your life and mine is when we take total responsibility for our attitudes. That's the day we truly grow up." - John Maxwell, author and public speaker

I read this today and it struck something in me. So often we are taken by life and its happenings. The only thing that really matters is your attitude and how you handle those happenings or the things you are not happy about. Either way it is up to you to take charge and change your attitude.

There are a few things swimming in my head that I think I need to take charge of. But, that will be for a later date.

Monday, July 21, 2008

Going Green!

Something I have been trying to educate myself on is "going green". We have started doing certain things. For instance:

1. We now collect plastic, cardboard and aluminum. My dad actually recycles plastic and cardboard, so we are not only helping out the environment but also his business. A definite plus. It is crazy the amount of plastic we go through - what with water bottles, soda bottles, shampoo, conditioner, cleaners, moisurizers...seriously. We use a lot more plastic than we think.

2. I have been buying more and more organic products. This is somewhat of a catch 22 sometimes. Things like canned goods are USDA certified and the USDAs rules for getting "certified" are a bit lax in some instances because or pressures from the corporate world. I have been looking in to farmer's markets and co-ops in our area and cannot wait to be able to partake! This will happen within the next two weeks.

3. We are in the process of switching to energy efficient light bulbs. There is a stash in our utility cabinet just waiting for the next light bulb to burn out so we can replace it.

4. We donate. Everytime we go through our closets we put things things that no longer fit or we no longer want in one of those donation boxes at the school or various parking lots.

5. I try to remember to higher our thermostat to the air conditioner every morning. I have to confess, I was in such a hurry this morning I forgot to today. I do try to remember every day. Typically, I go down the hall again, make sure the doors are closed and the lights are off and then glance over at the thermostat and higher it to about 82 degrees. Once we get home it goes down to between 75 ad 77 degrees, but I read 78 degrees is ideal, so I will have to try that and see if the fiance can handle that. Usually it is a constant war between us walking back and forth with me turning it up and him turning it down.

6. I have bought certain non-food organic products. My facial cleanser and my daily moisturizer are both Burts Bee. I have looked at the hair products, but that may be a little harder. If you know me, you know my hair is a constant battle because of its thickness and curlyness/frizziness.

7. I try to wash and dry clothes in the evening. I'm not completely positive why this is a tip of going green, but I have heard it enough to think I should be doing it. Same thing with filling up your gas tank.

8. Turning off the computer when not in use.

Things I want to do:

1. Plant a vegetable garden!

2. Make a compost bin!

The things we are doing so far does make me feel better. Everyone always wants to complain about the problem but not be part of the solution. So this is me and my family trying to make a step forward!